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What is the simplest WordPress blog you’ve seen?

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This post is based on a question that was posted on reddit.com which really intrigued me. I have seen a lot of WordPress blogs that are so simple and so well constructed that they blew me away and inspired me to do more to make my blogs simple(r). I just have a hard time finding them when the time is right and I am about to make changes to my designs.
In that spirit, what is the simplest and most elegant WordPress design that you have come across? Lloyd’s blog comes to mind as a good example.

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  1. Jeff Waugh (1 comments.) says:

    Mark Pilgrim’s http://diveintomark.org/ is an inspiration in thoughtful web design concision.

  2. James D Kirk (6 comments.) says:

    Am I missing something here? That’s just a WP blog running on top of the Sandbox theme (2 columns left). Wouldn’t it be better to highlight the simplicity of Sandbox (and at the same time the complexity that it can be developed into!) Guess I just need to pay more attention to the blogosphere and less on trying to secure financing!

  3. Moni (1 comments.) says:

    i have never been a fan of simple blogs. Well structured blogs yes, not so much empty ones that lack even a decent nav. I like to see robust blogs with a lot of into on them, everything within reach, a click away, like http://www.yankodesign.com or even simple, to the point info displaying blogs like http://www.shoutingzone.com/blog

    I’m not sure if these both are original blog designs but I’m using them as example, rather than my own. Anyway, good post, nice food for thought there.

  4. Gudowski (1 comments.) says:

    I really love: http://www.i-phone3g.eu/

    Simple and Clean. And Apple :D

  5. Chris (26 comments.) says:

    The first one I thought of: plaintxt.org. They distribute some really high quality “simple” themes.

  6. Chris Albon (1 comments.) says:

    Not to toot my own horn, but I tired hard to make simple, timeless layout:

    http://warandhealth.com/

  7. Rick Beckman (15 comments.) says:

    Depends on how you define “simple”; stylistically, sure, Lloyd’s site is simple; but what if “simple” doesn’t apply to style? His site still has all the bells & whistles of any other WordPress site — full featured sidebar, posts, meta information on the posts, comments, and so on.

  8. shawal (4 comments.) says:

    If you want simple, i suggest wordpress default theme….

  9. randy (6 comments.) says:

    79Leaves, easy to read and too the point.

  10. Jennifer (1 comments.) says:

    Simple and even zen-like is very nice. I’ve got my eyes open for the perfect ‘simple’ design. But the linked example is rather frightening actually – it looks more like what happens why CSS is disabled.

  11. Rhine (1 comments.) says:

    Any WordPress blog using Azeem Azeez’s beautiful and elegant theme White as Milk would get my vote. It’s simple, loads fast, and places emphasis where it should be: Content. It’s so clean that I use it for my own blog.

    Azeem’s own site uses a fairly simple design that he created himself:
    http://www.azeemazeez.com/blogs/

    I’ve seen some amazing and elaborate designs for WordPress but all the bells and whistles and pretty colors don’t amount to bupkis if you don’t have regular quality content.

    For non-Wordpress simplicity, check out McSweeney’s:
    http://www.mcsweeneys.net/

    Content rules.

  12. Keith says:

    I love DisPics, just pictures of Disney theme parks, very simple, very well done:

    http://www.dispics.com

  13. Arun (2 comments.) says:

    I love the Minimalism of Daring Fireball which is one of the sites with dark background which look lovely. I think it is on Moveable Type and not Worpress, however the author has a writeup on how started with a blank xhtml structure rather than modify an existing template. I think this is a good approach for a simple design.

  14. erm says:

    Yeah, I’m not sure I’d call sandbox “simple”, per se.

    The web seems to be having difficulty increasing the specificity of data without munging up presentation and necessary information.

    Not sure that was clear, but I’m working on something.

  15. Abhijit (1 comments.) says:

    I vote for any blog based on these themes -

    *
    *
    , which incidentally I use too.

  16. Jeff (11 comments.) says:

    Oh, oo, oo! Me! :D

    Jeff’s Site

    :)

  17. PJ Brunet (1 comments.) says:

    I started with Simplr. Spent years cleaning it out, line-by-line. Took out all the widget junk, categories, meta info, moved most of the CSS inline, cleaned out lots of PHP code, dropped id/class tags, reduced style.css to 14 lines, redesigned the comments, stuff like that. Clean means more pageviews and better CTR. Cut to the chase ;-)

  18. wpGuy (2 comments.) says:

    I’m not 100% sure it’s built on WordPress but… http://astheria.com/

  19. Kristin (4 comments.) says:

    I think nothing beats the Norwegian blog http://bza.no/ when it comes to simple, clean design.

  20. Shanker Bakshi (2 comments.) says:

    Wrong Choice – Mine is the simplest of all. Just Post and comments no distructions in between

  21. akagitano says:

    I’m always looking for simple design. Now I’m working on contentandcode.org inspired by powazek.com.

  22. Pi (2 comments.) says:

    Weblogs using the Nishta theme are easy to use and very simple in design: http://cmdai.com and http://grafschaft-hoya.org are examples.

  23. John Baker (15 comments.) says:

    There’s some good stuff here. I spent a long time just looking at Daring Fireball, which is beautifully designed. My choice is Paul Stamatiou’s 281, on which my own site is based.

  24. Viktor Persson says:

    I created a plain and soft styled wp-theme some months ago that somone might enjoy: Winterplain.

  25. Tom (1 comments.) says:

    I’ve tried to keep my own new blog as simple as possible (it’s all about the pictures, and not the frame)… thanks to WordPress for providing such a powerful tool!
    http://www.thomas-sing.de/wp/

  26. Sly says:

    Very fast ant light template.
    http://www.silviuromano.com/

  27. Addy (1 comments.) says:

    Simple is such a subjective term.

    I love blogs which keep everything to a minimum in terms of advertising, sidebar content and focus on the writing and posts.

    A great example for me would be one I stumbled across today
    http://heartfullofnapalm.wordpress.com/
    which has a simple feel but it’s content is about as far from simple as you can get.

    Really well written, puts a lot of blogs (including my own) to shame.

  28. Darran (9 comments.) says:

    How’s this for simple? My own blog design which have been ‘criticised’ for being plain and simple.

  29. Drew Vogel (1 comments.) says:

    I think my site, http://www.drewvogel.com, is pretty simple!

  30. Harry (1 comments.) says:

    My blog is simple in its visual style. The design I most admire is perhaps Khoi Vinh’s Subtraction, but it’s Movable Type rather than WordPress.

  31. seemysexygf.com (1 comments.) says:

    This is far from “simple”/. In my opinion, a simple blog would display nicely on text based browsers such as lynx/elinks.

  32. Dave Coveney (2 comments.) says:

    I did a very simple variation of Moo for Sandbox to build my photoblog at http://www.davesgonemental.com/photoblog/ – I just moved the sidebars to the bottom to give the content more space to breathe. I also messed around slightly with some other css. Could release it, I suppose… Anyone want it, just say.

  33. Sachin Gopal (1 comments.) says:

    I’ll say sachingopal.com. Brutally Minimal

  34. KimCool (1 comments.) says:

    Luo’Blog I think the blog is simple

  35. Thomas Wright (3 comments.) says:

    Without being mean, I was somewhat taken aback by http://shankerbakshi.com/
    @Shanker Bakshi: Whilst it’s a lovely looking site, it’s not exactly ‘simple’ in the same way as the others.
    Just my 2c.

  36. Latterlig! (2 comments.) says:

    I guess http://spesiell.org is quite clean? (Yes, I know, it has both rounded corners and ads, but the overall look is quite clean anyway?)

  37. Jesus Is Extravagant (1 comments.) says:


    http://www.rikcatindustries.com/
    http://www.peter-rozek.de/

    not sure if they’re exclusive wp…but, some great design ideas.

  38. paul (1 comments.) says:

    http://2pt3.com is pretty simple too.

  39. Well, a little shameless self-promotion:

    http://agentultra.com

  40. Edward Guillen (1 comments.) says:

    I just hacked the Hemingway Reloaded theme and made it very very simple.
    http://www.schmeddy.com

  41. Nile (1 comments.) says:

    http://tribalost.net few modifications I’ve made with Brajeshwar

  42. Richard Ginn (4 comments.) says:

    If all you did on your main blog page was just ultra simple text, that would be the simplest WordPress blog ever.

    Just the p tag with no extra attributes.

  43. Ulysses Ronquillo (15 comments.) says:

    Try my theme. Not released yet. Uses Ajax accordion. Preview here.
    http://ulyssesonline.com/theme.....lack-Green

  44. Rebecca (3 comments.) says:

    I kinda like mine :-) (if I’m allowed to anyway hehe) http://miss604.com

  45. Will (1 comments.) says:

    Voltage Blog at Voltage Creative is a nice blog about marketing and design. The blog itself is very clean, accentuating content and nicely separating it from everything else in the sidebar.

    http://www.voltagecreative.com/blog/

    (Full disclosure: I work there and help design the thing.)

  46. Charlie Stout (6 comments.) says:

    I modified The Gathering theme for WordPress to use as a catogorized photoblog/portfolio of my work: Charlie Stout Photography

  47. Jan (1 comments.) says:

    The simplest blog design: http://www.agenturblog.de/
    And a simple, but appealing wordpress-theme is pocketT: http://www.nyssajbrown.net/pockett/?page_id=13

  48. Gunslinger (1 comments.) says:

    I personally agree with Moni. I have always been about shine. I feel like your website should be a personal representation of yourself. It is the one way you can put yourself on the net, everyone can get to know you, what your like, and what your interests are, all in one look. Simple website designs, such as listed above, are boring. I would rather wait an extra couple seconds, and be aw struck, than load really fast and be bored.

    However, with that said, there is a Simple design, that I have come acrossed, that somewhat aw struck me, Look wise. That is WordPress.org The design is simple, and yet has substance.

  49. joseph (2 comments.) says:

    My blog (http://ousep.com) is using a fairly simple one… I’m still working on refining it though.

    But if you’re thinking of blah-looking blogs, any blog still on an unmodified Kubrick wins by a mile. It’s a good design, no doubt… but nevertheless.

  50. Martin Fredriksson (1 comments.) says:

    Mine is wicked simple.

    http://www.martinfredriksson.se

  51. Leefe (4 comments.) says:

    Simple yes. And the content may be interesting. But it looks more like someone forgot to upload the CSS file for their blog theme. Very barren and no division in the layout. Makes the advertising less distinguishable from the other links in the sidebar I suppose.

  52. evan (1 comments.) says:

    I use (here) a theme called Third from here. Very clean and elegant.

  53. Roni (9 comments.) says:

    Simpler better, but first look lead to brand your blog. Play with CSS may be one of many way to make your blog simpler

  54. Sarah Moore says:

    This post mentions ‘design’ but many of the submissions are just plain text with absolutely no design or colour??? I came across this blog http://www.perlina.co.uk/blog when I purchased a pair of earrings. The layout is simple and easy to navigate with nice colours.
    As an internet ‘surfer’ I do believe that a nice looking blog helps me to decide in a second whether I’m going to keep reading or if I’m going to close my browser.

    Sarah

  55. mini-d (1 comments.) says:

    Shameless selfadversiting: You can use I HAEV STYEL theme, wich is quite minimal and really very polished.

  56. Allan Cole (1 comments.) says:

    Hands down, the simplest theme design i’ve seen is Upstart Blogger’s Stripped theme. It quite literally strips everything down to the content.

    Stripped is a new one column, ultra minimalist, text and content focussed wordpress theme. Too many blogs have too much clutter. Stripped solves the problem by giving your readers the content they crave without forcing them to go hunting around the page for it.

  57. Richard Ginn (4 comments.) says:

    Poster 50 is real close to the simplest Wordpess blog ever.

  58. roland (2 comments.) says:

    Although my weblog has obviously sort of a minimalistic design, I also know it’s ugly on the other site. :)

    I just have that “design” because of the easy use of templates etc. and I’m too lazy and dumb for more complex ones…

  59. sanjay (1 comments.) says:

    And this one is one of the beautiful themes that i hav seen http://blog.kannada-greetings.com

  60. Yasser (1 comments.) says:

    I love the Buryy theme form GFXedit it is simple and elegant.

  61. Leon P (1 comments.) says:

    erm – mine?

  62. Kirk Sinclair (1 comments.) says:

    I don’t know if this is legal, but my web log is about as simple as it gets. With a tag line of Merit – Wisdom – Harmony, the precise intent is to be simple.

  63. shamess (1 comments.) says:

    The problem with really simple blogs is sometimes they just look like spam blogs; clicking through a few of the ones listed above, if I had just stumbled across those I would have left immediately thinking I’d just come across a spam site.

  64. Peter Ricci (1 comments.) says:

    I think http://www.business2.com.au is clean and simple.

  65. Stephen Babtridge says:

    Simple, effective, perhaps a little too orange, but i really love this blog (which i think is still fairly fledgling): ConsumerChoices Blog

    The subject matter is dry, but the design and editorial angle make it a daily read for me.

    I dunno, i just think it’s cool.

  66. Kevin (1 comments.) says:

    I recently applied a new custom theme I designed to my WordPress blog.

    It looks nice but there’s not much content!

    You can find it here: http://www.codealchemy.com/

  67. HerBigIdea ~ Elaine says:

    I use PopBlue3 by http://www.blogohblog.com/

    It’s really simple, check it out: http://herbigidea.com

  68. Anshul (2 comments.) says:

    I think my blog, Brainstuck.com is the simplest blog, cartoon blog actually.

  69. paskal (2 comments.) says:

    hurm… maybe Rapplesnut should be here too. i like the simplicity of the site…

  70. oxide (1 comments.) says:

    I tried to create as simple a layout as possible using wordpress.

    Everything Hurts

  71. cel mai misto tip din Romania says:

    I like to think that i have a simple but interesting theme: Andrei

  72. dan (4 comments.) says:

    simple blogs are nice and cool but too simple can be a bad thing. when I first started blogging I wanted the flashiest site with all the fancy plugins and mods until I realized it was a waste and started to work backwards trying to simplify my site

  73. Easher (1 comments.) says:

    I’ve yet to fnd a site as such, though I kinda like http://www.rappelsnut.de/. I do love simplicity, can’t stand eleaborate themes.

  74. Haven (1 comments.) says:

    http://www.liferefinement.com is simple, but its about to receive a redesign so it may not stay this simple in a few days.

  75. matthew (1 comments.) says:

    I would say mine is pretty darn simple and clean!

  76. stalkerX says:

    Very simple: http://www.apfelzeug.de

  77. brad (1 comments.) says:

    Can we vote for ourselves? my Passion Project is a new community WordPress blog about what people love to do in their free time! I tried to keep it very simple, clean and easy to use.



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